What is Intersectionality?

We’re excited about the work ahead of us in Rooted & Rising, and we hope you are too. We’re on this journey with you, Reconciling United Methodists, seeking justice for all of God’s people.

You may have noticed the use of the term intersectionality in some of what you’ve read. If this is a new term to you, these resources may be helpful as we deepen our intersectional commitments together.

In a nutshell, intersectionality is a framework by which we understand that different kinds of identities may overlap and create different kinds of experiences, including different kinds of oppression. For example, LGBTQ middle-class individuals have a different experience from LGBTQ people experiencing poverty. Similarly, LGBTQ people of color have different experiences from white LGBTQ people.

Intersectionality is key to our work at RMN because LGBTQ people in the Church have a vast diversity of experiences and identities. We are called to seek justice for all LGBTQ people in the Church. Alongside LGBTQ people with disabilities, we must advocate for accessibility in the whole life of the church. Alongside LGBTQ people of color, we must advocate for racial justice. Alongside LGBTQ people experiencing homelessness, we must advocate for housing access. When we work for justice for all LGBTQ people, we create a more whole and holy Church and world.

We’re working on creating resources specific to the Reconciling movement. In the meantime, we recommend these resources. Links are provided for easy sharing.


How intersectionality affects each of us in our professional and personal lives
A short animated video about intersectionality
An interview with Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw, who first coined the term “intersectionality”
A youth-friendly explanation of intersectionality from Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance
Children explain intersectionality to one another
“African American Women and the Struggle for Equality” by the National Museum of African American History and Culture
Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw explains intersectionality in this full-length TED Talk


Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw Intro


INTERSECTIONALITY MATTERS! The podcast that brings intersectionality to life by The African American Policy Forum (AAPF) and Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw.


Our Lives Matter: A Womanist Queer Theology by Rev. Dr. Pamela R. Lightsey

Using a womanist methodological approach, Pamela R. Lightsey helps readers explore the impact of oppression against Black LBTQ women while introducing them to the emergent intellectual movement known as queer theology.

Out of Exodus: A Journey of Open and Affirming Ministry by Ruth A. Daugherty, Mary Merriman, Michael I. Alleman, Darryl W. Stephens, Andrea Brown

The story of the Exodus is told in parallel with testimonies, sermons, and personal reflections from a congregation in Lancaster, PA, challenging the reader to a journey of faith. Along the way, it becomes clear that open and affirming ministry transcends LGBTQIA+ inclusion. It is also about race relations, poverty, generational change, divorce, immigration, and any other human-created barrier to loving God and neighbor.

On Intersectionality: Critical Essays and Writings by Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw

Drawing on black feminist and critical legal theory, Kimberlé Crenshaw developed the concept of intersectionality, a term she coined to speak to the multiple social forces, social identities, and ideological instruments through which power and disadvantage are expressed and legitimized.

This Bridge Called My Back by Cherríe Moraga

A foundational text of women of color feminism. A poet, playwright, and cultural activist, Cherríe Moraga is Artist in Residence in the Department of Theater and Performance Studies and in the Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity Program at Stanford University.

IntersectionAllies: We Make Room For All by Chelsea Johnson, Carolyn Choi

A children’s book. The nine interconnected characters proudly describe themselves and their backgrounds, involving topics that range from a physical disability to language brokering, offering an opportunity to take pride in a personal story and connect to collective struggle for justice.

Contact Resources Manager Rev. Emily Bagwell with questions or for additional resources at emily (at) rmnetwork.org.